Numazu Police Arrest Love Live! Sunshine Itasha Driver
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Fictional idol Yō Watanabe can't catch a break. First, her manhole cover in Numazu is defaced and now one of her biggest fans had a fateful run-in with the local police.
The 23-year-old driver of a decked out Yō itasha allegedly hit a woman with the car and fled the scene on October 13. Numazu police arrested the man, originally from Tsukuba, Ibaraki, on suspicion of causing an injury with a car due to negligence and engaging in a hit-and run. Police didn't specify whether the suspect admitted to the charges or not.
According to police the driver turned right at an intersection at approximately 5 p.m. on October 13 and hit a 79-year-old pedestrian crossing the street. The collision caused the woman to break her right wrist. The man then drove away. Police were able to locate the suspect quickly given the unique appearance of the car.
The city of Numazu has had an increasing number of problems with Love Live! Sunshine!! fans since the anime debuted in 2016. The city of Numazu has a large elderly population and the advent of anime pilgrimages brought swaths of visitors hoping to see the places featured in Love Live! Sunshine!!. The intermingling groups have lead to repeated warnings from the anime's staff and city officials to respect residents and private property.
Nonetheless, attempts to market tourism on the anime's popularity have met with mixed results. The city crowdfunded nine manhole covers of the AQOURS idols only for visitors to repeatedly vandalize them. The covers will pulled from the streets and two college students and one high school student were arrested in relation to the vandalism.
Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun, Image: Numazu City Police